What Would Our Lives Look Like

Without ‘cultural appropriation’, what would our lives look like?

Consider: clothing, housing, furniture, education, food, tools, sports, arts, transportation, technologies, medicine and other sciences. (Where did your style and material of clothing actually originate?)

Appropriation, imitation and adaptation are part of our cultural and individual growth.

‘Cultural identity’ and pride can still thrive without the ‘cultural purity’ of living as our ancient ancestors once did, or with only what our ‘heritage cultures’ created and accomplished without ‘cross- cultural influences’ throughout history.

May Humanity grow in wisdom and understanding, not condemnation.

(July 31, 2020- Shelley Wilson)

The weaving is by my daughter Alissa and the painting is by me.

Memories and A Photograph

This photo flew off the fridge door when I was wondering what to add to the Memories of Northeastern Ontario weaving. I understood when this happened that my Dad wanted me to place it in the area of Winter and snow on the left. My Sister, Bev, took this photo shortly after Dad passed from the physical body. Bev was on her yacht in Southern Ontario when a country song about hunting and fishing and love began to play. She felt an urge to look into the sky. There was this cloud formation that looks like someone on a snowmobile moving across the snow. Dad had loved snowmobiling. Then she had a vision of Dad and Mom laughing merrily as they danced to the music across the water. Dad was an ‘outdoors-man’- a hunter fisherman ‘huntin’ and ‘fishin’ like in the song. We were a modern family of ‘hunters and gatherers’ for food. We also grew much of our food on a quarter acre of mostly clay ground by a lake. Our ancestors did much the same in other lands and cultures and climes. Some of us even lived the lives of some of those ancestors too. Reincarnation puts a whole new slant on the subject of ‘cultural appropriation’.

July 30, 2020- Shelley Wilson)

Memories and A Rock

The wire decorated rock now at the bottom of my weaving is from Northeastern Ontario. This rock was gifted to me by a friend of Polish/Welsh heritage. It was given as a reminder of my late Father and Mother’s trips to the eastern shores of Lake Superior where they’d sometimes gather a few ‘Water Polished Rocks’ from the shoreline to bring home. Growing up, I recall Dad often gathered interesting rocks from the wilderness. They’d come to live with us in the house for a while then went to live outside again. Mom often collected rocks too. The jewellery kind. Rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings of stones, metals and other materials made in Canada and other countries. The Dragonfly earrings on the weaving were hers. She’d buy, wear and give her jewellery away. Like Mom, I knew we’d all worn rocks and metals as jewellery in many lives and many cultures. Reincarnation puts a whole new slant on the subject of. ‘cultural appropriation’.

(July 30, 2020- Shelley Wilson)

Memories: Details

I wove this little ‘medicine bag’ now at the bottom of this Memories weaving after my son Aaron gifted the woven bracelet he bought for me as a ‘souvenir’. It is now the ‘handle’ of the bag. It contains dried sage and cedar from Northeastern Ontario that I took from a smudge bundle given to me by my English/Anishinaabe friend last Christmas. The dollar store fringe is imitation leather. I do have another genuine leather ‘medicine bag’ that I received when I attended the 100th year Commemoration of Treaty 9 in the Matachewan area at the invitation of my Anishinaabe friend. I have glimpsing memories of my lives as ancestral Grandmothers and Grandfathers of First Nations long ago. I lived near Lake Superior before the ‘white man’ came. I lived on the Plains before there was a Canada-US border. I lived on the West Coast of what is now British Columbia. I’ve worn many ‘skins’ in my many lives. I’ve worn many feathers too. Reincarnation puts a whole new slant on the subject of ‘cultural appropriation’.

(July 29, 2020- Shelley Wilson)

Memories of Northeastern Ontario: Decorative Details

This decorative hanging on the right side of my Memories weaving has wooden beads, seed beads, partridge feathers, leather and wire-bound rock. It was a hand-crafted gift from a friend in Northeastern Ontario. She has an English and Anishinaabe heritage and remembers her life as the Grandmother of our ‘status’ Anishinaabe friend. I once had a vision of the latter as a ‘white woman’ in Victorian England. I saw her wearing a long, full dress of that time. Reincarnation puts a whole new slant on the subject of‘cultural appropriation’.

(July 29, 2020- Shelley Wilson)

Beading Details of My Memories of Northeastern Ontario Weaving

‘Blueberries’ and glass ‘Seed Beads’. Many of these beads came from my daughter Alissa’s collections. She has a wonderful talent for creating unique jewellery with beads and other materials. Beads, large and small, have been used by many cultures for decoration and even barter for centuries. We know she lived in many cultures in other lives and so have I. Reincarnation puts a whole new slant on the subject of‘cultural appropriation’.

(July 29, 2920- Shelley Wilson)

Memories of Northeastern Ontario: Weaving With Beading

Memories of living among caring family and friends in a land rich with abundant resources of freshwater lakes and rivers, trees, valued minerals and more:- left to right:- Grey, white and silver of cold Winter skies, ice, sleet and snowflakes. Lots of snow. Puffy white clouds in bright blue skies. Fresh, clean air. Bright Spring greens. Grey roads to explore. Wildflowers along roadsides. Rocks and rolling rivers. Farmlands of the Great Clay Belt. Sparkling lakes to explore. Dragonflies. Summer’s heat. Yellowing vegetation. Wild blueberries. Moss. Wilderness forests to explore. Autumn colours and harvests to prepare and store. The Great Canadian Shield. Gold. Lots of gold and other valued minerals. Oh, blackflies and mosquitoes. Lots of blackflies and mosquitoes not in my weaving here. lol!

Religions and Cultural Appropriation*

Many people find comfort and social acceptance in Religions originally foreign to their race and culture such as in the Middle Eastern Religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam or in Indian Religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism where Yoga originated. The current trend of condemnation for any ‘cultural appropriation’ is a sign of misunderstanding the nature of spirituality and cultural growth.

(July 26, 2020- Shelley Wilson)


Hope leads us gently

into the Light

when all feels lost

and darker than night.

Hope comforts us

along the way

as fears release

and drop away.

Hope frees us from hells

we sometimes create-

mistaken beliefs

about God and our Fate.

Hope brings us back

to where Life is Love

shining eternally

‘here’ and ‘above’.

(July 13, 2020- Shelley Wilson)

America Is Sick

America is sick.

She has fallen into Shadows.

She feasts on Fears now.

Entertaining herself with Horrors,

Violence and Crimes of Hate,

she is poisoning minds and hearts

everywhere- young and old alike.

Her Greed and Indifference to Suffering

fuels a vile brew of Corruptions.

She is ruled by Cults of Death now.

America is sick.

(July 11, 2020- Shelley Wilson)

Why Did I Buy This?

I often asked myself ‘Why did I buy this?’ Four expandable wooden trellis packages took up space in our storage closet for two years. Even when I purchased them, I asked myself ‘Why am I buying this?’

When my daughter and I decided to move, I offered the trellises to two people. They each declined. I felt peculiarly pleased. I couldn’t even bring myself to put these ‘useless things’ into my carloads of downsizing donations. ‘Why not?’ I wondered.

There was a rental ad for a unit in an apartment building in our preferred location in the city. Ground floor facing a parking lot with no patio. While we made plans to view it, I kept seeing a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ balcony and the same numbers ‘101’ I’d been seeing ‘pop out’ at me for over a year. I was puzzled.

The day arrived for our viewing. Once in the building, the manager informed us that the advertised apartment was already rented but another unit was available. We were shown ‘101’ with a lovely little balcony.

On the day we moved in and began unpacking I now knew exactly where my wooden trellises and climbing ivy plants would go.

(July 8, 2020- Shelley Wilson)

Our balcony with trellises and ivy